The New Year is just around the corner and I have a food challenge for you! I know you are up to it.
And fruit and herbs too, of course, but often we forget about the veg. So I love to focus on it.
Our bodies need plants.
Can you make 50% or more of your plate at each meal consist of veggies?
Make vegetables the rock star!
I mean, don’t all Rock Stars take-up space?
They fling out their arms when they sing, slide on their knees with drama, and hit the high note with flair!
And I’m going to guess that even if you love veggies, you’re not eating enough of them.
Whether you’re eating meat or not, grains or not, dairy or not, legumes or not, vegetables should be taking up at least half the room on your plate.
The leafy greens ones are particularly important.
Vegetables (and yes, fruits and herbs too!) heal you on a cellular level.
The micronutrients from living food eliminates toxins / cancer cells, helps regenerate tissues / expedites wound healing, reduces the risk of heart disease, restores energy, decreases inflammation, boosts the immune system, and keeps you young!
Here’s my challenge to you: make 50% or more of your plate at each meal consist of veggies!
Sure, you can always chop them up and use them for dippers in hummus or guacamole, but can you go further?
Here are 8 ways to easily increase your vegetables with real life photos of my own plates from my Instagram feed.
If you prep anything ahead, focus on prepping vegetables:
Roast a sheet pan of cabbage and pop it in a storage container, wash and chop your collards for cooking later on in the week, bake a few sweet potatoes ahead of time. If your oven is on, add vegetables to it!
Put your hot meal food over lettuce:
Salad doesn’t have to look like a salad, anything can be a salad of you put it over greens. Romaine has more nutrients than you might think, and greens like arugula and spinach are loaded with nutrients. Similarly, you can wrap your food in lettuce wraps! Butter lettuce is particularly good for this.
Blend your greens:
Green smoothies might look unappealing, but when you combine that baby kale with sweet mango and banana (and super foods like hemp hearts and maca) you can hardly taste it!
Replace toast with starchy veggies.
You don’t need bread with your eggs. A pre-baked sweet potato, some roasted delicata squash rings, or crispy white potatoes can all be better choices than store-bought bread.
Make a fresh green sauce every week:
Whizz up a pesto or chimichurri with fresh herbs (you can even hide spinach and other greens in the pesto!) in a blender and spoon it over your eggs, onto your grilled chicken and salmon, and use it as a dip for your leftover roasted parsnips.
If you have a juicer, dust it off:
Celery Juice is a powerful “first thing in the morning” tonic for the body and an afternoon apple / carrot juice can give you the energy you need to make it through the toughest part of the day.
Herbs are veggies too:
Make an herbal infusion (long steeping tea!) with loose leaf herbs like nettles, holy basil, red raspberry leaf, or peppermint, and drink your chlorophyll and nutrients as you get hydrated.
Top it with microgreens:
Many grocery stores, and most likely your farmers market sell microgreens now, formerly referred to as sprouts. These teeny-tiny plants offer a punch of nutrients and flavor, and all you need to do is sprinkle them on top of your food.
Learning to eat more vegetables means being willing to buy, chop, cook and try more vegetables. Start thinking about the vegetables as the main attraction. Not the side dish.
Try to think of yourself as you embark on this journey. Just because someone else in the house wants nothing to do with the green stuff doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice having it for yourself.
Your desires, your health, your body matter!
Your body will thank you for giving it nourishment.
Guest Blogger & Breathing Spaces Partner Ry @ The New School Kitchen